Louisianan Bob Oren Bass claims this is a true story.
A woman was flying from Seattle to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way.. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.
Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her Seeing Eye dog, Buddy, lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.
He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, “Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?”
“No thanks,” the lady replied, “but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs.”
All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.
Whether this is true or not, Bob’s conclusion was correct, “Thing aren’t always as they appear.”
This reminds me of Jesus’ warning in John 7:24. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
It’s so easy to look at outward situations, circumstances, and appearances and draw a conclusion that’s incorrect. Even good and godly people can do that. Case in point. The prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 16:1-13).
When God wanted to choose the next King of Israel to succeed Saul, He sent Samuel to the house of Jesse. One by one seven of Jesse’s sons passed before the prophet, but none of them was God’s chosen ruler.
“Do you have any other sons?” Samuel asked.
“Yes,” replied Jesse. “My young son, David, who’s in the pasture tending to the sheep.”
It was this ruddy, young lad, who was God’s chosen and became not only a great King in Israel but an ancestor in the linage of Jesus.
The Lord’s advice to Samuel played out as He said. “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Appearances can be deceiving.
Jesus’ appearance, background, and upbringing in the nondescript tiny town of Nazareth caused the Jews to conclude that He wasn’t the Messiah. But they were wrong.
The man we think may be a fine Shepherd in the church just because he’s a successful businessman, may not have a heart for serving people.
The preacher who’s an eloquent speaker, but may not be the most effective minister of the gospel or truly equipped to meet the difficult challenges of local church work.
The pretty, perky young lady who parks in a handicap spot, may not be selfish and entitled. She may have cystic fibrosis. Not all handicaps are visible.
The family we secretly envy, with “perfect children,” who live in a big, beautiful home and enjoy material wealth, may be miserable and unhappy. And even on the verge of divorce.
The person at church who seldom speaks and appears stuck-up and self-absorbed may be suffering from physical, mental, emotional, or relational problems that no one knows about. In fact, he (or she) may be secretly hoping someone would reach out to bear their burden. But they’re afraid to ask.
Also, this dining tip. The big, fancy, expensive restaurant may not have the best food in town. It may be the little, mom & pop diner in an old building, across the tracks.
The examples are endless. Be careful. Don’t be hasty to judge based on appearance alone.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman